Current Fire Hazard Status
Please be advised that effective May 26, 2020, Athabasca County has changed its FIRE STATUS:
Athabasca County has downgraded the fire restriction to a FIRE ADVISORY for that area of the County outside of the Forest Protection Area.
- The use of burn barrels and cooking and warming fires are permitted.
- The issuance of new fire permits will be restricted to essential burning only.
- Residents and visitors to Athabasca County are advised to use caution and to be diligent in safety practices while conducting any burning.
- Keep fires small and ensure it is completely extinguished before leaving the area.
Athabasca County urges everyone to use care when working or driving in grassy areas and be mindful of debris collecting on machine hot spots which can heat up, fall to the ground and start a wildfire.
You may view the status of all fire bans within the province at https://albertafirebans.ca/
Please contact us for more information about burn permits in the County:
780-675-2273 | 1-844-662-2273 | firstname.lastname@example.org
FOREST PROTECTION AREA
A portion of Athabasca County falls under the Alberta Forest Protection Area which is governed by Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. This provincial agency manages and responds to all wildfires and is responsible for issuing permits and putting on fire bans in the Forest Protection Area (see map below). Call 780-675-8168 for more information.
FIRE BAN BACKGROUND
Athabasca County monitors fire hazard during the spring, summer and fall in order to determine the risk of wildfire and may issue a fire ban if the hazard is high. A fire ban is an order issued by the provincial government and/or the County to restrict the use of fire in areas of high hazard. The order describes what types of fire are allowed or may in fact entirely prohibit the use of any fire. This is a tool to attempt to minimize the risk of accidental wildfires resulting from human activity.
The County utilizes the Fire Weather Index (FWI) System to assess the fire hazard as well as consultation with the local SRD fire prevention officers. Alberta Agriculture and Forestry has moved to a five level colour-coded system for putting on fire bans in the Forest Protection Area (FPA) of Alberta and Athabasca County will be following this same system.
The system will increase efficiency in applying fire use restrictions during increasing fire hazard. It will also provide more advanced warning about possible impacts on burning and campfires. The intent is to improve the overall system and be more consistent in our terminology while using plain language.
This system will allow us to be more flexible as the fire situation changes. The general description of the five levels is as follows:
No Restriction – Fire permits are required during fire season for any type of burning in the FPA, except campfires. Safe campfires are allowed in campgrounds and backcountry or random camping areas.
Fire Advisory – The fire hazard rating has increased. Fire permits may be restricted. Safe campfires are allowed in campgrounds and backcountry or random camping areas, but this level is a warning they may be restricted if the situation doesn’t improve.
Fire Restriction – Safe campfires are allowed in fire rings in campgrounds only. No campfires (or other open fires) or charcoal briquettes are allowed in backcountry or random camping areas. Gas or propane stoves/barbeques and portable propane fire pits are allowed.
Fire Ban – Fire permits may be suspended or cancelled and no new fire permits will be issued. If the situation continues to worsen, ESRD will put on a fire ban. No campfires (or other open fires) are allowed in campgrounds or backcountry and random camping areas. This includes charcoal briquettes. Gas or propane stoves/barbeques and portable propane fire pits are allowed. All fire permits are suspended or cancelled and no new fire permits will be issued.
Forest Area Closure – The fire hazard has reached such extreme levels that portions of the forest are closed and no access is permitted for public safety concerns.
A complete list of Provincial Fire Bans or the current level of restriction in the County can be obtained by visiting www.albertafirebans.ca
If you are planning to burn some debris a fire permit is required by law. They are free and can be applied for using our online form or contacting the Athabasca County Admin Office.